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Foundation of CMI Congregation

Frs. Thomas Palackal, Thomas Porukara and Kuriakose Chavara having the same motivation of starting a religious community life, had several occasions to meet together at the

vicariate of Verapoly or at the seminary of Pallipuram to discuss the idea of a religious institute. By the words of blessed Chavara, from the first page of his chronicle, we may allude to the request fathers Palackal and Porukara placed before the bishop Maurelius Stabilini Seeing that a lot of good has not been done due to the absence of a Thapasu Bhavanam (house of discipline) in Kerala even for priests, we desire to start a 'Darsana Veed’ (house of vision) at least for priests.

The Vicar Apostolic, finally on 1st November 1829, granted permission to establish a religious house. On May 11, 1831, the foundation stone for the proposed religious house was laid at Mannanam near Kottayam in Kerala dedicating it to St. Joseph. This was the first indigenous religious institute for men in the Indian Church of modern times, known now as Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). For, if at all there existed any religious institute before, no one continued upto that time. Jacob Kanianthara, who in 1865 became the first professed brother co-operator in the congregation also co-operated with those three founding fathers from the beginning.